Although they can be challenging, pull-ups are a great way to strengthen your entire upper body. In addition to targeting your biceps or triceps, depending on the position of your arms, they’re one of the best ways to strengthen your back muscles. Here are a few ways to build the necessary strength for doing unassisted pull-ups:
- Hanging Hold
- Finger Curls
- Table Pull-Ups
- Assisted Pull-Ups With Theraband
- Jump Pull-Ups
In the rest of this article, we’ll walk you through each exercise so you can get started increasing your strength right away. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
5 Ways To Build Strength For Pull-Ups
Hold on to a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Draw your belly button toward your spine and slightly retract (or pull together) your shoulder blades to support your arms and shoulders. You can either hold your legs straight and extended slightly in front of your body, or bend your knees. Hold for 20 to 45 seconds, or until failure.
Select dumbbells that are comfortable for you to use – 5 lbs or 10 lbs is usually a good place to start. Hold one dumbbell in each arm and keep your arms close to your sides with your elbows slightly bent and wrists straight. Straighten your fingers so the dumbbells roll down to your fingertips. Hold for one second, then make a fist again, pulling the dumbbells back up into your palm to complete one rep.
Moving slowly and with control, continue for 5 to 20 reps.
Lie on your back with your feet planted on the ground and your upper body underneath a table. Hold the edge of the table with an underhand grip. Engage your abs, hold your body strongly, then bend your elbows and use your arm strength to pull your upper body toward the table.
Pull until your chest touches the table, hold for one count, then slowly lower yourself back to the ground. This completes one rep. Continue for 5 to 20 reps.
Assisted Pull-Ups With Theraband
Tie a loop in one end of a Theraband and tie the other end to a pull-up bar. Place either your foot or knee in the loop, then hold on to the bar and bend your elbows until your chin is level with the bar. Hold for one count, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat 3 to 10 times, or until failure.
Stand underneath the pull-up bar, holding it in an overhand grip. Bend your knees and jump straight up, bending your elbows to keep your chin above the bar. Hold for one count, then slowly straighten your elbows and lower yourself back down to your feet to complete one rep. Repeat 3 to 10 more times, or until failure.
Spend a few days or weeks with each exercise, starting with the first and working your way to the last. By the end, you should be ready to do unassisted pull-ups!